New book exposes SLO County corruption

June 15, 2022

Debbie Peterson


Former Grover Beach Mayor Debbie Peterson’s expose detailing the deeply-entrenched cesspool of corruption in San Luis Obispo County is finally public.

The book, “The Happiest Corruption: Sleaze, Lies, & Suicide in a California Beach Town,” details the threats and underhanded actions of former SLO County Supervisor Adam Hill and the pack of thieves, enforcers, and miscellaneous miscreants he attracted. Peterson describes Hill’s demands of her, and his full-throated threats of destruction if she did not comply.

“A must-read, firsthand account of trouble in paradise from a former mayor who spent years in the political trenches,” said Dave Congalton, KVEC radio host. “Peterson offers a much-needed primer for keeping local government open and accountable. Buy two copies. One for you and one for your local representative.”

Some highlights from Peterson’s expose:

Peterson resigned from the Grover Beach City Council in 2019 saying she could not participate in a council where cannabis permits could be purchased for $100,000, gaining her further wrath of Hill and his posse. In the months that followed, Peterson was involved in an accident she describes as a hit.

Tom Fulks, a consultant for supervisors Hill and Bruce Gibson, threatened Peterson through his SLO Sense Facebook page that he would be filming and following her if she attended a Coalition of Labor Business and Agriculture banquet, which he falsley alleged was related to the Ku Klux Klan. Fulks, Hill and Gibson worked together to demean and discredit those who questioned their actions.

At the event, a man dressed all in black with his face covered filmed Peterson walking through the parking lot.

After spotting Dan Carpenter, an opponent of Hill’s in the 2018 election, speaking to a developer, Hill told Carpenter he would take him out to the parking lot and beat him up if he spoke to one of his donors again.

Peterson also describes Hill’s propensity for destroying his detractors, including getting business owners and government administrators to fire people who questioned his actions. A prime example: popular radio host Dick Mason.

Detailing the sleazy side, Peterson describes allegations of sexual misconduct against former Grover Beach Mayor John Shoals and how Hill and his closest affiliates engaged in sexual relationships with their assistants. These sexual exploits often led to taxpayer funded settlements.

Peterson also details the efforts of Hill and his co-conspirators to destroy a local news website, CalCoastNews, its founders, and its supporters.

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Sounds like the same old exposing a dead man scenario that Dayspring thrived on. When are we going to hear about some living slime balls? What about Judge Garrett? She disappeared like a genie after Dayspring was arrested. Sounds like the same old stuff we’ve heard before with some additional details. Where’s the smoking gun? Whose going to jail?

Got to agree with Ironhub. Retiredpoliceofficer sounds a do-nothing armchair gumshoe.

Shoals is a planning consultant, like Jamie and Tom Jones, and Carol Florence. I have seen him “at work”. At the County you have to pay these people $180/hr or more to get an audience with planning staff, period. The same is true at some, but not all, cities. That is corruption.

City of San Luis Planning Dept. has an “expedite ” fee if you don’t want to wait 6 months to get an inspection. I guess if they call it a “fee”, it’s not bribery! SMH

I’m anxious to see if Ms. Peterson’s book alleges state government involvement in the issues she discusses. Maybe this is the only way to deal with the corruption in the County, and the state – shine a VERY bright light on the cockroaches and then, hopefully, watch them scatter. I definitely plan to order a copy.

I wonder if we could prevail upon Ms. Peterson to write another book – this time on the massive corruption in the Morro Bay sewer plant project. That’s a situation in which there are piles of irrefutable evidence, all in the form of official documents. Yet, state agencies refuse to take action to stop the ongoing violations of dozens of laws – crooks protecting crooks? Sure looks like it.

I personally was harassed by Hill when I filed a FPPC complaint for Hill using the county email to send re election materials. The FPPC didn’t take action and after the ruling Hill purposely emailed me for the county even more and made accusations of me being a “redneck” on my personal Facebook page. Look forward to reading the book.

Just ordered the book on Amazon!

Ordered it yesterday. I’m guessing it will not be available at local public libraries. So much for no book banning.

Way to go Debbie! Can’t wait to read this book. What’s truly remarkable is that the voters of the Third District keep voting for Hill’s legacy of corruption…


With a big root of evilness and corruption linked to Bruce Gibson as well. Looks like we’ll have many more years of his crap unfortunately. We won’t be so nice this time.

Might as well be fiction. Things will always be this way. Humans are awful.

Oh nice… another book about the democrat party…..

Can’t say enough about this book. The legion of grifters in good ol’ SLO County will find themselves exposed forever. Because books are forever.

Where can I get a copy of the book?

Click on the green link in the second paragraph. It will take you to the Amazon purchase site. I’ve already got a bunch.

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